A couple of weeks ago I received an Evite from a mom friend here in Ottawa for a Mini Olympics, to be held at a park close to our house. It was described as a playdate to celebrate the Olympics and an opportunity to let the kids burn off some energy. Fun, right? I pictured slide races and a sandcastle competition. You have no idea.
We arrived at the part at 10am, just in time to brandish our flags and join in a rousing rendition of O Canada as the athletes marched around the park for the Opening Ceremonies.
Then the athletes split up into teams (identified by the colour of their silly band bracelets) and lined up for their first event - the Torch Relay. E was the anchor for her team…a dubious choice for a record finish, but she was one of the only competitors willing to stand in one spot until it was her turn.
The second event and by all accounts the most gruelling was Gymnastics All-Around. Each team member had to complete a hula, skipping, balance beam and egg balance apparatus. With a little coaching, and a lot of cheating, E came through brilliantly.
Soccer was up next, where E scored her very first goal. Hooray!
Then it was on to track and field, where E learned that hurdles get progressively less fun as one nears the finish line.
And after all that, the athletes were rewarded with the most inclusive awards ceremony ever. One podium, and everyone gets a turn on top of it!
Is it weird that I was a little teary?
After devouring a picnic lunch we all jumped into the pool for the Swimming event. By this time of course, with the medals already handed out, it became more of an exhibition event. E spent her time *surprise surprise* tending to a couple of friendly beetles and trying to convince everyone else of their protected status.
I only coaxed her out of the water with the promise of the homemade chocolate chip cookies and rice krispie squares that were being passed around to all the carb-loading athletes and their long-suffering parents.
Did I mention that the woman who organized this event recently gave birth to her third child? I am a lazy, lazy, sham of a parent. Who is very fortunate to have friends at all, let alone specimens of this calibre.
It is also worth noting that today my dad turns 75 years old. E would like to dedicate her Olympic debut in his honour. Happy Birthday Papa Ger!
Team Blue Silly Bands!
The athletes with their coaches